Heart Attack

Abstract

The heart is ranked top among the most important organs of the body. The heart muscles require an abundant supply of oxygen as well as other nutrients from the blood. Oxygenated blood is pumped to and from the heart via the pulmonary artery and the aorta. A heart attack is induced when a blood clot lumps up in either of the two arteries that transport blood in and out of the heart. The scientific term used to refer to a heart attack is a myocardial infarction (AMI). The primary cause of this heart condition is the coronary heart disease (CHD). The CHD takes place when there is a buildup of plaques or atheroma in the inner walls of the two arteries. The buildup affects the optimum flow of blood inside and out of a person’s heart. When a clot of blood wholly blocks up an artery, the delivery of blood to the heart is entirely clogged. Ultimately, this induces a heart attack. The severity of the condition is dependent on how much the heart muscles have been perpetually damaged. The condition is fatal, but can also be cured or coped with if noticed at an early stage.

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Introduction and Explanation of Why the Topic Was Chosen

Introduction

A heart attack is also referred to as myocardial infarction. It is a critical medical condition that arises when the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart is suddenly repressed. Such a sudden stoppage of blood flow is caused by the clotting of blood in the arteries. A sudden lack of blood in the heart muscles can critically damage the heart. Each year, thousands of persons around the globe are affected by heart attacks. Some of them survive and go on with their normal day-to-day lives without further complications. This essay discusses the heart attack as a serious medical condition, giving a deep insight into its symptoms, causes, and treatment once a person has been affected.

Why the Topic Was Chosen

A heart attack is a precarious ailment that can kill an individual within minutes. This is so if necessary medical attention is not given to the affected person. Heart attack in this essay was chosen as a topic to inform persons of symptoms, causes, and treatments of the condition. Despite the general information that numerous individuals have about heart attack as a condition of the heart, a large number of them fail to know what causes the condition. In addition, they are not aware of immediate measures that should be employed so as to treat the condition. By reading this paper, persons will receive sufficient information on how to handle emergency heart attack situations.

New Terminologies Learned

There are four primary terminologies that can be learned in this research. They include atherosclerosis, atheroma, electrocardiograph, and trimethylamine-N-oxide. Atherosclerosis is an artery disease that occurs due to the deposition of plaques on the inner walls of the arteries. Atheroma is a body condition that is characterized by the accretion of fatty particles on the arterial walls. An electrocardiograph is a machine used to check the performance of a heart. It is used on a patient during the treatment of heart attacks. Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) is a form of a metabolite that clogs the body arteries, reducing sufficient supply of blood to the heart.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

There are numerous symptoms of heart attack that a patient can recognize and then seek urgent medical attention. Such symptoms include chest discomfort accompanied with mild upper body pains. This symptom is prevalent in young women aged up to fifty-five years. Other symptoms include coughing, dizziness, vomiting, dyspnea, crushing chest pain, and nausea. Persons likely to have a heart attack may be restless, clammy, and sweaty with a dull grayish face. They could also experience stomach upsets with an urge to vomit. They can also have the feeling of tiredness, which at times can last for weeks.

Causes

Age of a Person

It is reflected to be the utmost risk factor linked to the condition. Men and women above the age of forty-five and fifty-five respectively are at a high risk of attaining the heart condition. A research carried out at the University of Copenhagen has revealed that physical signs of advanced age are associated with a high risk of having a heart condition (Jaslow). Some of the physical signs analyzed include xanthelasmata, alopecia, lobuli auricularum, and male baldness. Researchers involved in the project have revealed that these factors raise the risk of the heart condition by fifty-seven percent.

Angina

It is a clinical condition that a person suffers from when there is not enough oxygen reaching his/her heart. This condition intensifies the likelihood of a patient suffering from the condition. In instances when there was a wrong diagnosis by a physician, a patient may suffer from a mild attack. The principal difference between angina and heart attack is that victims of angina can recover within thirty minutes after using a medication. Conversely, most heart attack victims will die on the spot without urgent medical attention.

High Cholesterol Levels in Blood

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance, which is found in all cells of the body. A person’s body needs cholesterol to make hormones, food digestive enzymes, and vitamin D. If a person’s blood has a high level of cholesterol, he/she is at a high risk of attaining blood clots in the pulmonary artery or the aorta (NHLBI). Such clots block the sufficient flow of blood inside and out of the heart muscles. This leads to the development of a heart attack.

Gut Bacteria

The activities of bacteria in the intestines are associated with an elevated probability of a heart attack or stroke (Michaeli). Such bacteria are found in compounds of some digested food like eggs, which have large quantities of lecithin. Various scientific researches carried out in the past have portrayed a close connection between the actions of gut bacteria and the condition. Other studies have proved that the use of L-carnitine compounds to preserve drinks or red meat increases the likelihood of suffering from the heart condition. This is because the gut bacteria in the intestines digest the compound to produce trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) (Gordon). TMAO is a form of a metabolite, which is responsible for clogging the body arteries and reducing a sufficient supply of blood to the heart.

Genetic Inheritance

A person can inherit the likelihood of attaining this heart condition from his/her parents (Cirino). For instance, if a person has a sibling who died from heart attack, he/she is also at a high risk of getting heart attack. Genes make each and every person unique from the other. However, some aspects of genes can be inherited from parents. Inherited heart conditions are caused by mutation of genes in a single or multiple genes. If one parent possesses a faulty gene, there is a fifty-fifty chance that a person can inherit the condition.

Hypertension

This is the occurrence of high blood pressure in a person’s body. If a person has high blood pressure, he/she is likely to attain the coronary artery disease (Clevaland Clinic). The disease is also referred to as atherosclerosis and it is a build-up of fatty materials in the walls of the coronary artery. With time, such build up makes the blood arteries become narrow, which in turn results in less blood flowing in the arteries. Eventually, the arteries may become blocked completely and, consequently, induce a heart attack.

Obesity

Obesity refers to the condition of a person being overweight. As a person’s body mass index rises, the risk of acquiring the coronary heart disease (CHD) also rises. The CHD is a leading cause of heart attack in people. Obesity can also cause the heart failure condition (Obesity). This condition arises when a person’s heart fails to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

Smoking

It destroys the lining of an individual’s arteries, developing a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) that narrows the thickness of the arteries. This condition can cause angina, heart attack, and stroke. The carbon monoxide gas, which is dominant in tobacco, limits the supply of sufficient oxygen to the body cells. This forces the heart to pump harder so as to be in a position to supply enough oxygen to the body tissues. If the heart overworks as it tries to supply enough oxygen, a person can attain a heart attack or a heart failure. The nicotine compound found in cigarettes stimulates a person’s body to generate adrenaline. Adrenaline, in turn, makes the heart beat faster, which could raise a person’s blood pressure. This also makes a heart work faster, increasing the likelihood of attaining a heart attack. Smoking can also makes a person’s blood clot in arteries. The clots restrict the ordinary ooze of plasma towards all regions of the heart, which eventually causes heart attack.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Any medical practitioner should send a person to a cardiologist if he/she identifies that the person is likely to have this heart condition. There are three main methods that could be used to treat and to detect the danger of heart attack in a person. The methods are the use of an electrocardiograph, a cardiac enzyme test, and a chest x-ray.

Electrocardiograph (ECG)

This is a clinical machine that is used to check electrical activities of a patient’s heart muscles (WebMD). Its performance is facilitated by the fact that the heart produces low-voltage electric signals after every heartbeat. A cardiologist can then use the device to check how well the heart is running. The machine can detect any damages in the heart muscles as well as aberrations of the heart rhythm. By analyzing the data obtained from the machine, a doctor can learn if a person has experienced a recent heart attack or not.

Cardiac Enzyme Analysis

If an individual may have suffered from this condition and recuperated, there are some enzymes that might be deposited into his/her bloodstream. Cardiac enzyme tests are undertaken to discern such enzymes and learn the cause of the heart attack (SCAI). Such a test must be carried out regularly and be constantly scrutinized for some time. This is done to make certain that the individual is no longer in danger of suffering from a recurrent heart attack.

Chest X-Ray

It can be done on a person to determine the likelihood of attaining heart attack. It is only administered to a patient if a physician suspects that a person might have heart attack. Chest x-rays are used to determine problems in the lungs, which might be stemming from the heart. For instance, the X-ray can reveal presence of pulmonary edema in the lungs. This is the occurrence of fluids in the lungs. The fluid can result in heart attack or congestive heart failure.

Treatment of Heart Attacks

Imminent heart attacks, if detected early, can be treated successfully. The sooner a heart attack victim receives medication, the more efficacious his/her cure will be. In such a case, the patient’s survival depends on how fast he/she is taken to the hospital for medical attention. There are two forms of treatments that can be administered to patients with heart attack. They include treatment during the attack and treatment following the attack.

Treatment during an Attack

CPR

Some attacks may make a person stop breathing. Such a person might not even move or answer when talked to by other persons. In such an instance, a CPR exercise should be commenced immediately. The exercise entails performing manual chest compressions and administering air through the mouth. Thirty chest compressions can be performed, being followed by mouth-mouth breaths aimed at resuscitation.

Defibrillator and 300mg of Aspirin

It is a medical apparatus that can be used to treat patients during heart attack. A defibrillator administers shocks across a patient’s chest (American Heart Association). It is used to shock the heart back to its normal performance. A 300mg of aspirin should be given to the patient once he/she recovers from the heart attack. The drug ensures that the blood in the patient’s arteries does not clot inside the walls of the arteries.

Thrombolytic

They are used to dissolve blood clots in a person’s arteries. The most common forms of thrombolytic are streptokinase and alteplase. They should be administered to a patient as soon as he/she is affected by heart attack. If the supply of the blood to the muscles can be restored urgently, most damage to the affected region of the heart can be averted.

Treatment Following an Attack

Different patients will be given different treatments after suffering from an attack. The goal of search treatments is to avert future attacks from happening to the patient. Below are given several treatments that can be administered to a person to prevent future attacks from taking place.

Aspirin

A person’s blood is rich in platelets, which are minute particles that facilitate blood clotting. If a person suffers from heart attack, platelets can stick on the plaques, creating thrombosis. If thrombosis takes place in the body arteries, it can lead to the clotting of blood. Anti-platelets such as aspirin minimize adhesiveness of the platelets. Persons can be prescribed to take seventy-five milligrams of aspirin to limit the occurrence of thrombosis, which in turn triggers heart attack.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

They are also abbreviated as the ACEs. These drug vessels aid in reducing the workload of the heart. They achieve this by opening the blood vessels to lower the blood pressure. The ACEs offer protection to the heart from more injuries caused by the aftermath of a heart attack. Before starting on the ACE, patients should first be tested to ascertain whether their kidneys are functioning at optimum levels. After finishing the offered medications, patients must go back to the hospital so as to ensure that their kidneys are functioning at optimum levels.

Surgery

An operation on the heart muscles may be necessary after an attack takes place. Nevertheless, it should only be done when the heart has undergone through severe damages following heart attack. The most common surgeries administered on such patients are angioplasty and coronary artery bypass graft.

Conclusion

Heart attack is an intensive heart condition, which affects numerous persons across the globe. The condition can be treated, but it is also fatal if a patient does not receive immediate medical attention. There are numerous symptoms of heart attack. Some of them include nausea, stomach upsets, tiredness, coughing, and pain in the upper back region. The condition is caused by age, angina, gut bacteria, and high cholesterol levels in the blood among others. The condition can be treated by the use of an electrocardiograph, cardiac enzyme tests, chest x-rays, CPRs, Defibrillator, 300mg of aspirin, and thrombolytic. {t_essay_1}

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